The 8 Best Speech to Text Software of 2022

These speech to text solutions will save you hours of transcribing

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Man on talking on phone

Lifewire / Design by Amelia Manley

Our Top Picks

Best Overall: Dragon Professional Individual

"Packed with various features and extensive customization capabilities, Dragon is the gold standard of speech recognition programs."

Best for Windows 11: Built-In Dictation

"For a reliable Windows talk-to-text solution, you don't even need to look elsewhere, as Microsoft's newest OS already comes with one"

Best for MacOS: Built-In Dictation

"The built-in program for macOS makes converting your spoken words to text a walk in the park."

Best for Enterprises: Dragon Professional Group

"The best speech to text software for enterprises allows employees to create documentation 3x faster and 99% recognition accuracy."

Best with Virtual Assistant Features: Braina

"Powered by Artificial Intelligence, Braina is a unique speech to text software that boasts extensive virtual assistant features."

Best Online: Google Voice Typing

"All you need is a Google account, Chrome Web browser, and a reliable Internet connection."

Best for iOS: Built-In Dictation Functionality

"If you want a dependable speech to text solution for your iPhone and iPad, you've got one integrated right into iOS."

Best for Android: Gboard Voice Typing

"With Gboard, you can use your voice for everything from writing e-mails to responding to text messages."

Best Overall: Dragon Professional Individual

Dragon Professional Individual in black and blue text

Dragon Professional Individual

Dragon has always been the gold standard of speech recognition programs, which continues to be the case even today. Packed with a truckload of features and extensive customization capabilities, Dragon Professional Individual is undeniably the best speech-to-text software available. Its next-generation speech engine uses "Deep Learning" technology, thereby allowing the program to adapt to the user's voice and environmental variations—even when they're dictating.

Thanks to the "Smart Format Rules" feature, users can easily configure how they want specific items (e.g. dates, phone numbers) to appear. Dragon Professional Individual's advanced personalization features allow it to be tailored for maximum efficiency and productivity. You can import or export custom word lists for acronyms and unique business-specific terms. Plus you can configure custom voice commands for quickly inserting frequently used content (e.g. text, graphics) in documents and even create time-saving macros to automate multi-step tasks with simple voice commands.

Best for Windows 11: Built-In Dictation

Microsoft Windows Logo in blue

Microsoft Logo

For a reliable Windows talk-to-text solution, you don't even need to look elsewhere, as Microsoft's newest OS already comes with one. Introduced as part of the October 5th update, the improved Dictation feature lets you capture all your thoughts and ideas using just your voice, quickly and accurately. Since it's deeply integrated into the operating system, Dictation works flawlessly with just about any text field in Windows 11. To get started, select a text field (e.g. Microsoft Word document, E-mail compose box), use the "Windows" logo key with the "H" key to launch the dictation toolbar, and begin speaking.

You can easily dictate most letters, numbers, punctuation marks, and symbols by just saying their names (e.g. to insert $, say "dollar sign"). Dictation also supports numerous voice commands that allow you to select/edit text, move the cursor to a specified location, and more. Windows 11 supports a variety of different languages for dictation, and your computer needs to be connected to the Internet and have a working microphone to use it.

Best for MacOS: Built-In Dictation

Apple logo black

©Apple

Apple's dictation feature is built right into the desktop operating system, there's no need for third-party solutions. The built-in program for macOS makes converting your spoken words to text a walk in the park.

To set up Dictation, navigate to Apple Menu > System Preferences > Accessibility > Voice Control and then select "Enable Voice Control." Here, you can select the dictation language and configure other options. Being a native component of the operating system, Dictation works well with any text field in macOS.

To use it, place the cursor in any text field (e.g. Apple Pages document, E-mail compose window), press the "Fn" key twice to activate, and start speaking. Since this feature learns your voice's characteristics and adapts to your accent, it gets better with continued use. Dictation supports multiple voice commands for all standard operations (e.g. selecting/formatting text, moving the cursor to a specific position, entering punctuation marks/symbols), and allows you to create your own as well.

For more Mac programs, check out our guide to the best video editing software for Macs and the best Mac desktop publishing software.

Best for Enterprises: Dragon Professional Group

Dragon Professional Group in black and blue text

Dragon Professional Group

Get a free USB headset when you purchase Dragon Home or Dragon Professional Individual using the code USB2022 at checkout.

Even though documentation is a crucial part of any organization's day-to-day workflow, it usually takes up a lot of valuable time and resources. However, it doesn't have to be that way, thanks to Dragon Professional Group. The best speech-to-text software for enterprises allows employees to create documentation 3x faster (compared to typing) and 99% recognition accuracy. This is made possible by the program's next-generation speech engine, which uses "Deep Learning" technology to achieve high recognition accuracy while dictating, even for users with accents or those working in open office spaces.

Dragon Professional Group also makes it simple to automate repetitive tasks and streamline multi-step processes. You can configure custom voice commands which is helpful when quickly adding frequently used items (e.g. signatures) into documents. The system also allows you to create time-saving macros, or add industry-specific terms to the software's vocabulary to share with other employees.

The program also comes with "Nuance Management Center," a centralized user administration console that allows for easy management of everything from user profiles to custom command databases.

Best with Virtual Assistant Features: Braina

Braina icon featuring the letter B on a blue background with a red outline

Braina

Speech recognition programs are great for converting your voice to text, but what if you could also use one to set alarms and maybe even search files on your computer? With Braina, you can do just that and a heck of a lot more. Powered by Artificial Intelligence (AI), Braina is a unique speech-to-text software with extensive virtual assistant features.

The multi-functional program lets you use natural language commands to control your computer and perform different tasks, all from a convenient single-window environment. Braina can be helpful when searching for information online, performing complex mathematical calculations, playing your favorite songs, taking down notes, opening specific files/programs/websites, and getting weather information.

It also supports custom voice commands and macros, which make it easy to automate repetitive tasks. As far as the speech-to-text functionality is concerned, the program supports voice dictation in over 90 different languages and accents (e.g. English, German, Spanish, French, Italian, Russian, Japanese), with up to 99% accuracy.

Best Online: Google Voice Typing

Google Docs logo blue and the word Docs in grey font

Google Docs

Google Docs includes many features, such as multi-user collaboration, add-on compatibility, and version history. However, the Web-based word processor also supports Google's Voice Typing functionality, making it among the best online speech to text solutions available. All you need is a Google account, Chrome web browser, and a reliable Internet connection.

To get started with speech to text, open a document in Google Docs, and select "Voice typing..." from the "Tools" menu. After allowing the browser to access your computer's microphone, click the microphone box to start speaking, and Voice Typing will convert your words to text in real-time.

For best results, you must speak clearly, and at an average pace. Google Voice Typing allows dictation in many languages (e.g. English, Finnish, Norwegian, Swedish, or Thai), and you can select one via the microphone box before you start speaking. All standard operations such as selecting or editing text, applying formats, or moving the cursor to a specified point in the document, can be done using voice commands.

Best for iOS: Built-In Dictation Functionality

 Apple logo in black

Apple

Apple's iOS is renowned for its out-of-the-box nature. All the features in the mobile operating system are readily usable, and voice typing is no exception. If you want a dependable speech-to-text solution for your iPhone and iPad, you've got one integrated right into iOS. The voice dictation feature can be accessed via the default iOS keyboard, and it works great with apps that accept text input. Using Apple's speech-to-text feature allows you to do everything from composing emails to taking notes using your voice.

To dictate text in any app, tap the microphone icon on the iOS keyboard, and start speaking. When you're dictating, an animated waveform is displayed to indicate that your speech is being processed. If there are any errors such as spelling mistakes while dictating, they can be fixed manually. Dictation in iOS works offline (for selected languages), and there's voice command support for the majority of operations (e.g. formatting text, adding punctuations).

Best for Android: Gboard Voice Typing

Gboard - the Google Keyboard

Courtesy of Google Play

Of the many keyboard apps available for Android, Gboard is arguably the most popular. Google's keyboard comes with a lot of nifty features, such as glide typing and one-handed mode. But apart from these, it also includes reliable speech recognition capabilities. You can use your voice for everything from writing e-mails to responding to text messages, as Gboard's Voice Typing works with any Android app that accepts text input. To use the feature, all you have to do is tap the microphone icon and start dictating when "Speak now" is displayed.

You can also use Gboard's Voice Typing functionality to replace words in any document or message. For this, select the target word, and tap the microphone icon. Once "Speak now" is displayed, say the new word to replace the existing term. Gboard supports voice dictation in multiple languages and can be used offline, as well.

Our Process

Our writers spent 7 hours researching the most popular speech-to-text software on the market. Before making their final recommendations, they considered 15 different software overall, screened options from 8 different brands and manufacturers, read over 100 user reviews (both positive and negative), and tested 4 of the software themselves. All of this research adds up to recommendations you can trust.

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